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Donnerstag, 18.04.2024
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Ever-growing dependence on technology across various fields offers more opportunities for disruption, whether it is in e-government, critical infrastructure or economic targets.

Dubai’s push towards e-government and the concept of a smart city will likely result in an increased number of cyber attacks, according to cyber security experts.

“The short answer is yes, that will likely be the case,” said Manish Gupta, senior vice-president for products of FireEye, a cyber security company. “For roughly every thousand lines of code, there is one vulnerability. That is, of course, well-written code. If you write it very poorly, there would be perhaps more vulnerabilities or weaknesses that can be exploited.”

Gupta said that the ever-growing dependence on technology across various fields offers more opportunities for disruption, whether it is in e-government, critical infrastructure or economic targets.

“It’s just far more easier to exploit them through cyber-related attacks as it is through physical, kinetic attacks,” he said.

Mohammed Abu Khater, FireEye’s presales regional director, said the proliferation of apps used to interact with governmental agencies is introducing various points of vulnerability into local systems.

“All phones are connected to some data centre,” he said.

“Those applications that are considered ‘smart’ are now vulnerable. Now we have the challenge of the phone, the application and the centre. All three of those could be used by a hacker to get into the network.”

Speaking at a cyber security conference in Dubai, experts warned that the region faces various complex threats, ranging from increasingly capable non-state actors and local hackers such as those that have arisen from the conflict in Syria, to powerful state-backed hackers with the power to influence military and political decision making and disrupt symbolic targets.

“The key is really in who is willing to invest their time in a goal,” said Mandiant director Stuart Davis. “If they are state-funded groups, they have a 9-to-5 job. They have all the time they need. So, it’s really an inevitability. You will succumb to it.”

Davis said he is confident in the measures being taken in the UAE to combat cyber attacks.

“The Internet of Things, which will be everything becoming IP-enabled, and the proliferation of web applications is something from a security point of view that the UAE and other governments are conscious of and putting plans in place.” Gupta said the huge potential rewards of government connectivity in the UAE far outweigh the risks posed by hacking groups. “By no means are we trying to say that e-connectivity is not what governments should do,” he said. “The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. What we can do is minimise the risk surfaces being exposed.”

Looking to the future, Gupta said the geopolitics of the Middle East mean that cyber threats will persist and become increasingly advanced.

“The geopolitical climate in this region creates lots of points of views, and not everyone’s points of views are the same,” he said. “This perhaps causes the underpinnings of some of the nation-state sponsored attacks we see in the region.”

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Quelle/Source: Khaleej Times, 17.05.2015

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